The international men's teams from New Zealand, Korea, Belgium and England have played their first matches at the London Cup, which began in Chiswick on Tuesday. The Black Sticks defeated Korea before Belgium overcame a 2-0 deficit to emerge triumphant against host nation England, the reigning European Champions.
New Zealand - seventh in the current FIH world rankings - got their campaign off to a solid start with a 2-0 triumph over sixth-ranked Korea. As to be expected between two sides so close in the ranking table, the match was a tight and cagey affair. However, goals from Simon Child and Nick Wilson - a striker who was nominated for the 2010 FIH Young Player of the Year - settled the contest in favour of the Black Sticks. To read more about the match, please click here.
The second match of the day saw Belgium pull off a stunning result against England, the host nation. The youthful Belgium line up - coached by former Australian international Colin Batch - battled back from 2-0 down to run out 4-2 winners, showing that they are certainly a team to fear at next month's EuroHockey Nations Championships which take place in Moenchengladbach, Germany. England moved into a 2-0 lead after 25 minutes thanks to open play efforts from Richard Alexander and Barry Middleton, but strikes from John-John Dohmen, Alexandre De Saedeleer (2) and Jerome Dekeyser gave victory to a team that is nine places below England in the world rankings at 13. To read more information about the match, please click here.
Day 2 takes place on Wednesday 13th July, with Belgium facing New Zealand at 17:45 GMT before England and Korea go head to head at 20:00.
More information about the event including ticket sales can be found at www.englandhockey.co.uk .
London Cup Standings - 12 July 2011.
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